Green and clean transport: Kolkata trams to be more user friendly
The West Bengal government is reportedly planning to make the tram service in Kolkata more user-friendly, reports PTI. The condition of the iconic Calcutta Tramways is not strong enough to compete with other modes of public transportation, but the government has claimed to be taking more initiatives to make it user-friendly and lucrative as well.
West Bengal Transport Corporation's (WBTC) Managing Director Rajanvir Singh Kapur has said that the organisation is taking various initiatives to revive the tramway service. “Kolkatans love their trams, and we are working to make them more relevant again. We decided to take several initiatives to make it a more user-friendly mode of transport,’’ he said. The report claims that tram users have convinced the concerned government authorities that the mode of transportation is not merely a heritage that needs to be preserved but is also a cheaper and more environment-friendly alternative commuting system.
Speaking about their demand, Calcutta Tramways Users’ Association (CTUA) President Debasish Bhattacharya said that the organisation is campaigning for a return of high-frequency tram services as it is both environment-friendly and an inexpensive mode of transport. He also said that there is enough public support for tramways as it will help lower air pollution and traffic congestion and help the city's effort to tackle global warming as well. “ An efficient tramway service will benefit all sections of society," he said. Bhattacharya further added that Calcutta Tramways have all the requisite qualifications needed to achieve the UNESCO World Heritage tag, and the authorities should work to win the status.
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Tram routes in Kolkata have been restricted in recent years due to the metro railway expansion projects. However, Kapur said that once the metro railway projects are completed, and tram tracks are handed back to WBTC, the services will be resumed. Meanwhile, a colour-coded Calcutta Tramways map has been prepared to highlight various routes, which would enable commuters to plan their movement in the city, he further added. Apart from that, the WBTC is also adding an online ticketing system, an in-vehicle WiFi network and more for bringing uniqueness to the tram users' experience.